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The 5 Scariest Recent Snake Encounters in Homes

These unexpected guests came as a serious surprise.

There's no question that snakes are an absolutely vital part of the ecosystem. Not only do they provide a service by ridding our yards of unwanted pests, but most are also perfectly harmless and are just trying to stay out of our way. But just like with any other type of wild animal, they can sometimes wind up finding their way into places you might not expect to see them—like your living space. And while professionals can help you safely deal with any unexpected serpentine guests, they can still cause a bit of a surprise when they show up. Read on for some of the scariest recent cases of close encounters people have had with snakes in their homes and on their properties.

READ THIS NEXT: The No. 1 Sign There's a Snake in Your Closet.

One family came across a snake near their pool.

backyard with pool and red slide
Shutterstock/Konstantin Savusia

As large bodies of outdoor water, pools are known to attract all kinds of animals, such as birds and frogs. In some cases, this can also include snakes.

On July 6, Arizona residents found a large desert kingsnake that had made its way into their pool filter's skimmer basket, local Tucson ABC affiliate KGUN reported. Fortunately, the snake was able to free itself and go away on its own, with anchors pointing out that the species is non-venomous and considered a "friendly neighbor" despite its shocking appearance. In fact, desert kingsnakes will often hunt venomous rattlesnakes, according to the Elmwood Park Zoo.

A gardener found one inside her home's drainpipe.

gutter downspout
Shutterstock / Michael Moloney

It's not at all uncommon to come across a snake while gardening. After all, you share your outdoor space with any animals that might happen to be passing through or call their home. But in one recent case, a woman in the U.K. was taken by surprise when she noticed a corn snake—which is not common in the area—slither across a gutter drainpipe in her yard.

"When I went to pick him up, he was actually quite aggressive," Anthony Joynes, an inspector with the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) who responded to the woman's call, told the BBC on July 6. "He was quite a size and that must have been a shock for the woman. He was quite a nice snake, really, and I think the aggression he displayed was just a bit of fear."

Joynes says the snake—which is non-venomous and considered harmless to humans—is likely an escaped pet from nearby. He's hoping to locate the snake's owner and return it to its rightful home but is currently keeping it safe in the meantime.

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One man found a venomous snake that had been hiding between walls.

man listening to wall with cup
Shutterstock / Karlowac

Whether it's the thermostat kicking on, a windy day, or an old home settling into its foundation, homes can sometimes make strange noises. But when one resident of Durban, South Africa, heard a rustling between the walls in his house, he went to investigate—only to come face-to-face with a highly venomous black mamba, Newsweek reports.

"No, it did not bite him. It had the opportunity to but didn't. It got as much of a fright as he did! He bolted out the room, as anyone would do," Nick Evans, a snake rescuer and catcher, wrote in a Facebook post documenting the incident. "There were no lights in the rooms, and it was now dark outside as well."

Despite being the longest venomous snake in Africa with a potentially deadly bite, black mambas rarely strike and often run and hide when confronted. In this case, Evans said the reptile headed for a space between the ceiling boards and corrugated iron in the home's roof, forcing him to break through to attempt to locate the snake before eventually finding it in between walls. He then used the help of two assistants to try and carefully extract the animal before realizing it had poked its head out from the other end of the wall.

"When I felt I had a decent grip, I released the tail, and got my left hand on the head, securing it. The rest of the mamba came out then," he wrote. "I was very, very relieved. That was a hectic rescue!"

One man found a seven-foot-long snake hiding in his couch.

Woman looking under couch for lost item

There's nothing like relaxing on the couch after a long day with a nice book or new show to watch. But this past March, one California man received a big surprise when he discovered a large reptile slithering through his furniture.

"This guy calls me, is pretty frantic, and he's like, 'There's a snake in my couch,'" Alex Trejo, owner of So-Cal Rattlesnake Removal, told local San Diego ABC affiliate KGTV in an interview. "I literally lift the cushion, and there this giant seven-foot Vietnamese blue beauty rat snake is just coiled up right behind the cushion."

Trejo said that the snake isn't indigenous to Southern California and that "you'd be more lucky to find a Rolex sitting on the ground than a snake like this." He believes the animal is likely an escaped pet and hopes to find its owner. He told KGTV he would also help the snake recover from a respiratory infection he believes it developed outside its warm enclosure.

Residents found a 10-foot-long snake in their driveway.

Car parked in driveway

Good neighbors know exactly how to help each other out, whether it's lending a piece of yard equipment in a time of need or passing along important information. In the recent case of one town in the U.K., sightings of a huge python eventually helped a local animal rescue team locate a 10-foot-long royal python that had been spotted slithering around, causing much concern that the reptile was in danger. Ultimately, the snake was spotted and retrieved while coiled on the pavement in a driveway.

"It had gone to where there was heat, I suspect," John Poynter, a local National Exotics Animal Rescue Services member, told the Maidenhead Advertiser. "He was probably hungry, tired, and a bit scared. I'm surprised he wasn't attacked by a fox or something."

Poynter says he hopes to locate the owner and reunite them with the reptile. But unfortunately, he's noticing a worrying trend. "A lot of reptiles are being dropped off at rescue centers or abandoned locally like this one. Reptiles are cold-blooded and need heat mats to keep them warm. But those heat mats and food for snakes has gone up exponentially and people are struggling to afford to keep them," he said.

He urged any owner struggling to take care of their reptile pets to contact local animal services so they could be taken in and kept safe.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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